POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Lux signs treaty to tackle forced labour



Identified trafficking cases in Luxembourg have historically exploited foreign nationals for domestic work, catering, construction, begging and for the sex industry Shutterstock

Identified trafficking cases in Luxembourg have historically exploited foreign nationals for domestic work, catering, construction, begging and for the sex industry Shutterstock

Luxembourg has thrown its weight behind the fight against forced labour after becoming the fifty-first country to sign the ILO Forced Labour Protocol.

As a signatory to the treaty, Luxembourg commits to taking new measures to tackle forced labour in all its forms, working on the level of protection, prevention and compensation for victims.

The protocol requires signatories to ensure the release, recovery and rehabilitation of people living in forced labour and to protect them from prosecution for any laws they were made to break while in slavery. On a technical level, it means that Luxembourg will have to strengthen labour inspections and other services that protect workers from being exploited and take steps to educate and inform people and communities about crimes like human trafficking.

Identified trafficking cases in Luxembourg have historically exploited foreign nationals for domestic work, catering, construction, begging and for the sex industry.

According to the 2020 trafficking in persons report for Luxembourg, the grand duchy met the minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking. However, the report recommended, among other things, the introduction of better training for judges in order to issue stronger sentencing that could serve as a deterrent to would-be traffickers.

Rosa Brignone of Time for Equality, a Luxembourg-based not-for-profit advocating education around and the ending of modern slavery, welcomed the news. She said: “This is an important first step, now we are looking forward to implementation and follow up. Civil society has an important role to play!”

The ILO Forced Labour Protocol was adopted at the International Labour Conference in 2014. The EU pledged to promote its ratification among members in 2017. According to not-for-profit 50 for Freedom, only eight EU member states have yet to ratify the treaty.